The hours of use for Concessionary Bus Passes in Essex will return to normal on Tuesday 1st September 2020.
In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Essex County Council (ECC) extended the hours of operation for Essex bus passes to all day from the usual off-peak times to help people make use of early hours opening for high risk groups.
Now businesses and shops are starting to return to normal, with schools preparing for a September return, social distancing requirements on bus services mean that during the peak morning travel period there will be additional pressure on bus capacity for school children and workers.
As a result, ECC has agreed with bus operators that the times of operation for Essex concessionary bus passes will return to normal hours - 9am to midnight on weekdays and all times on weekends and public holidays from Tuesday, 1st September 2020.
If you are a pass holder and want to travel outside the hours of operation of your bus pass you will need to pay the full fare for your journey from this date.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Passenger Transport, said: “I’m pleased bus transport arrangements are moving back to normal from the changes we brought in to help vulnerable passengers access shops at the height of the lockdown.
“This return to a normal service will help bus passengers and drivers observe social distancing protocols by spreading out the volume of passengers across the morning.
“I will take this opportunity to emphasise to all bus passengers that when using bus services, please follow the guidance from Public Health England, including the need to wear a face covering and reducing personal contact, while maintaining social distancing and personal hygiene measures, particularly sneezing or coughing into disposable tissues, avoiding touching your face and regular thorough hand cleaning.”
All bus passengers are asked to note the availability of bus services is likely to continue to change over the coming weeks.
Bus passengers are strongly advised to check the bus operator’s website, social media and phone apps to see what bus services will be running before starting their journey.